I want your jeans….

2016-03-12 09.13.36“I want your jeans”, said the man coming towards us as I walked with other youth along Red Square in Moscow to St. Basil’s Cathedral.

It was 1991 and I was shocked by his request for me to sell my jeans from off my body.2016-03-12 09.13.27

We had been warned by the People to People International leaders before the trip that people who worked the Russian Black Market were aggressive in their requests to get American goods because they could be resold for such a high price; still his assertiveness stunned my 16 year old mind.

2016-03-12 09.12.59I kept the jeans I was wearing that day, but exchanged other things with him for a backpack, military jacket, and some hats.

Jeans; discarded because they don’t fit right, are too faded, or torn in the wrong places, can still be very valuable to those who are struggling to meet basic life necessities.

Today I come to you with a request, “I want YOUR jeans.”

This memory of how jeans could be worth so much to some people came to my mind as began collecting jeans and other denim material to make shoes for children in Africa through an organization called Sole Hope. The story of how our jeans could be used to save the feet and even the lives of children on the other side of the world was a high price I was willing to pay with my time.

sole hope processThis Wednesday I am hosting a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting party with the Young Women in our Church youth group. Your jeans will be turned into shoes for children in Africa who desperately need them. We can’t host the party with out denim to cut into shoe pieces.


They can me dropped off at my house or I can arrange to pick them up. Please message me on Facebook or send me at email: Sarah@SarahLCook.com

Wellness Wednesday: How Do I Love Me?

Happy Wellness Wednesday! I have a question for your when was the last time you took time to love YOU? In this video I share why that is important as well as some ideas to help you love yourself and be your own best Valentine!

Thanks so much for stopping by! When you’re done with the challenge I gave you in the video, be sure to share your feedback below. As always, if you find value in this video or other things here on my blog, share them with others! :-)

Finance Friday: Getting Your College Cash

If you have a college student, college-bound student or you are a student; you may have heard of he FAFSA. It is an online questionnaire/application that helps the federal government as well as colleges/universities you are interested in be able to determine how much financial aide to offer you. Take a look at some of the tips I share today on Sac and Co:

Wellness Wednesday: How I Dropped 5 Sizes in 10 Weeks

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday!! I am so glad you are here!

Want to know how I dropped 5 sizes in just 10 weeks?
Would you find value in knowing how I’ve kept the weight off for over 10 years?
Could you get excited about how to feel fabulous every single day?!?

Would you like more information about wellness in life and in business? Connect with me on Facebook!

New Year, New You Beauty Bar!!!

Happy New Year Lovely Ladies!! I have so much fun and fabulousness in store for you in 2016!! The first of which is a “New Year, New You Beauty Bar” where you get to stop by my home for your personal skin care winterization and some fabulous color tips for 2016!!

You DON’T need a ticket to come, but you must text/call (916.216.2857) to reserve a Beauty Bar spot!! When you purchase $10 or more between 1/1/16 and 1/8/16, you will be entered to win a raffle prize at the Saturday afternoon Beauty Bar!! To place an order visit: MaryKay.com/SarahCook


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What Do You Do When You Meet a Frown?


Have you ever woken up grumpy and it seems the entire day is filled with frowns and darkness? I sure have!!

Weekday mornings used to come very early for me as a Seminary teacher with a 6:15 AM class filled with sleepy Freshman and Sophomores. I got up dark and early so that I have time to get “cutified” (sometimes more so than others) and grab something…anything to eat as I run out the door with my daughter who attended the Junior/Senior class.

Occasionally, I found myself struggling to get moving, but not today. I awoke this morning dark and earlier than normal (3:45 AM to be exact) with the song, “Smiles” playing in my head. It’s a song I adored when I was a child in Sunday School. Having that song run through my head made me giggle inside and I immediately began the day counting my blessings. The last several days I have woken up with migraines and today I am migraine free. Big SmiFortnight Lilly Out My Windowles for the gifts of health and feeling great!! I thought of the Fortnight Lillies outside my bedroom window and how God fills every corner of the Earth with beauty if we would just simply look for it. Big Smiles for those gifts too! I thought of each the gifts and talents my children have been blessed with and how much those gifts are actually a gift to our family and others in our sphere of influence. I remembered back to a great basketball game Jon and his team played and how he felt so honored to have been “scouted” and asked to come and play with the Middle School team and how much he has grown from that experience. Big Smiles for those gifts as well!

I find that the best way to turn Frowny Days into ones filled with Big Smiles is to put on some new glasses! Through the Lenses of Gratitude, the world looks brighter and more beautiful. Wearing new glasses lets me see the Hand of God in everything and I begin to smile at the Tender Mercies He so lovingly gives me, His Daughter.

I hope this day will bring you Big Smiles!!  Will you do me a favor?  If you chance to meet a frown,  please make the world a better place my passing your smile on and helping someone else have a blessed and beautiful day! When we each take actions to put a smile on our face and pass it on to others, we make the world a better place!!

PS. Isn’t Little Sarah cute?! :-) These pictures were another gift I found dark and early this morning!! :-)

Family Financial Cents: Ways to Say, “I Love You” without Breaking the Bank

Sarah L Cook Sacramento and Company

To see a short video I did called “Giving Love to Those Who Matter Most”, click here.

To read a short post I did on examples of gifts you can make for under $6, visit Dare Whimsy.

What love language do you speak? What language do your loved ones, co-workers and clients speak? Please share your comments below and we can all learn together! :-)

If you found this video valuable, please share it with others.

Monday Munchies: Hearty Quinoa Oat and Chia Bread

Hearty Oat Quinoa and Chia Bread

Hearty Oat Quinoa and Chia Bread

Inspired by Sweetie Berry’s Marvelous Monday challenge, I took 13 minutes today and created a new recipe by modifying the Oat Bread recipe from my Bread Maker Cook Book.

It’s dense, and the flavor was fabulous and it paired well with salad of hard boiled eggs, cilantro, and green onions.

Here’s the recipe: 
Add to the bread maker loaf pan the following ingredients in the order they are listed and sprinkle yeast over the top of the dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 C Almond Milk (Called for Apple Juice)
  • 1 C Water
  • 2 TBS Coconut Oil (Called for butter)
  • 2 TBS Agave Nectar (Called for brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 and 1/3 C Quinoa Flour (Called for 2 and 2/3 C all-purpose flour)
  • 1 and 1/3 C Spelt Flour (Next time I will try brown rice flour to make the recipe gluten free.)
  • 1/4 C Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 TBS Active Dry Yeast (or one single serve package)

Once you have added all the ingredients to the loaf pan, insert the pan into the bread maker and press the setting for WHITE BREAD and then press start. When it’s COMPLETE, remove the pan from bread maker and turn loaf onto cooling rack. Slice when cooled a bit….I like my bread warm, so I don’t wait too long! :-)

Would love for you to share your favorite bread maker recipe below!